Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/772

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
752
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Given two societies of which the members are all either warriors or those who supply the needs of warriors, and, other things equal, supremacy in war will be gained by that in which the efforts of all are most effectually combined. In open warfare joint action triumphs over individual action. Military history is a history of the successes of men trained to move and fight in concert.

Not only must there be in the fighting part a combination such that the powers of its units may be concentrated, but there must be a combination of the subservient part with it. If the two are so separated that they can act independently, the needs of the fighting part will not be adequately met. If to be cut off from a temporary base of operations is dangerous, still more dangerous is it to be cut off from the permanent base of operations—namely, that constituted by the body of non-combatants. This has to be so connected with the body of combatants that its services may be fully available. Evidently, therefore, development of the militant type involves a close binding of the society. As the loose group of savages yields to the solid phalanx, so, other things equal, must the society of which the parts are but feebly held together yield to one in which they are held together by strong bonds.

 

But, in proportion as men are compelled to coöperate, their self prompted actions are restrained. By as much as the unit becomes merged in the mass, by so much does he lose his individuality as a unit. And this leads us to note the several ways in which evolution of the militant type entails subordination of the citizen.

His life is not his own, but is at the disposal of his society. So long as he remains capable of bearing arms he has no alternative but to fight when called upon; and, where militancy is extreme, he can not return as a vanquished man under penalty of death.

Of course with this there goes possession of such liberty only as military obligations allow. He is free to pursue his private ends only when the society has no need of him; and, when it has need of him, his actions from hour to hour must conform, not to his own will, but to the public will.

So, too, with his property. Whether, as in many cases, what he holds as private he so holds by permission only, or whether private ownership is recognized, it remains true that in the last resort he is obliged to surrender whatever is demanded for public use.

Briefly, then, under the militant type the individual is owned by the state. While preservation of the society is the primary end, preservation of each member is a secondary end—an end cared for chiefly as subserving the primary end.

 

Fulfillment of these requirements, that there shall be complete corporate action, that to this end the non-combatant part shall be